The day has come. The first superyacht has gone on sale whereby you can pay for it using cryptos or NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens).
Built by the Benetti company, the 52m (170 ft) superyacht Vianne comes with a helipad and sky deck jacuzzi. And that’s not even the most unusual thing about it. What’s really unusual (for now) is that the owner has confirmed that the super yacht is for sale. And, that fiat currency is not the only way you can pay (fiat is normal money of a country, like Australian Dollars, Vietnamese Dong, or Thai Baht, for example). The owner wants 10% of the price paid to them in fiat currency. But they will accept the rest of the payment in any cryptocurrency. They will also accept any top tier NFT including: Cryptopunks, BAYC Apes.
On sale for €8.9m, Vianne is a steel-hulled superyacht with transatlantic range. She recently underwent a full technical and cosmetic refit in 2021 at the Italian shipyard Arpeca. She has new Ralph-Lauren-branded furniture inside and out, with a refresh of her water toys, including a new waterslide and floating water deck with pool. Vianna can accommodate 12 guests in 5 staterooms Vianna can accommodate 12 guests in 5 staterooms and is crewed by 12 staff.
Vianna is also on the charter market this winter, available at US$196,000 per week in the Caribbean. Whilst cryptocurrency payments are increasing in the yachting industry, this would make Vianne the largest ever yacht to be purchased with NFTs.
SUPERYACHT: WHAT IS AN NFT?
“Non-fungible” means the digital object is unique and can’t be replaced with something else. For example, a bitcoin is fungible — trade one for another bitcoin, and you’ll have exactly the same thing. A one- of-a-kind trading card, however, is non- fungible. If you traded it for a different card, you’d have something completely different. So now, you can “stamp” a digital artwork, or “trading card” online… And it will always be the original, no matter how many times it is copied. Artists and musicians are making their original songs or artworks into NFTs… and these NFTs are becoming very very valuable. So valuable, in fact, that they can be used INSTEAD OF money. Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, made the very first Tweet – his own- into an NFT and then sold it for charity.
Aqua. Remember that word if you are thinking about a boating holiday… Check out what the 1% are hitting the high seas in!
This boat is not so much a boat – but a bucket list on water. Named ‘Aqua,’ this is amazing concept superyacht comes with an eye-watering price tag of $645 million.
And here’s the fascinating bit – it has been designed to run on liquid hydrogen. The only emission that will come out of it is water.
Recently, Bill Gates was rumoured to have commissioned one to be built for his family’s seafaring life. However, the company who designed this incredible seafaring vessel – Sinot – have been forced to release press information saying that there is currently no connection with Gates.
The yacht debuted at the Monaco Yacht Show at the tail-end of 2019. This silver beast has room for 14 guests and 32 crew. While on board, passengers can use the gym, a yoga studio, beauty room and massage parlour.
Says Sinot, “In the design and development of Aqua, our team derived inspiration from owners’ lifestyles, the fluid versatility of water and cutting-edge technology, combining all of this in a 112m superyacht with truly innovative features.”
Many new seafaring vessels have been highly optimised over the past few years. Diesel-electric combinations have grown in popularity. But Sinot want to take the discussion into an entirely new realm. They are doing this with their hydrogen-electric system, which is capable of providing all onboard energy needs.
Using hydrogen, Aqua can hit 17 knots and travel 6035kms before the need to refuel. That’s about the distance from England to the USA. There is a second back-up diesel engine, just in case there isn’t a hydrogen refuel point on the way.
As for the tanks, they are huge. Each tank weighs 28 tons, is vacuum sealed and cooled to -253C in order to hold the hydrogen fuel. In fact, the two massive liquified hydrogen tanks have been made into onboard art. On the lowest level, the hexagonal-textured surface structure of the tanks sits behind a giant façade of strengthened glass.
Aqua is configured with a with a five-deck set up. The aft deck features a unique and innovative series of platforms cascading down towards the sea. A large swim platform allows all Aqua passengers to enjoy the ocean at sea level.
The indoor health and wellness centre is a water-world of serenity. To get to the wellness area, passengers pass through a sensational circular tunnel. Moon-shaped portals surrounding the central lobby lead to the gymnasium and massage room.
The hydro massage room offers massages administered by pressurised water jets. Invented by the Romans, hydro massage remains one of the most popular, wellbeing-enhancing massage techniques.
The gymnasium has a gym-wide hatch, which opens to reveal the ocean’s surface at water level. This creates the perception of exercising on an island paradise. A yoga space and workout floor is positioned so that all gym users to enjoy the magnificent views and close proximity to the water. All the while, they are protected by the strengthened panoramic glass window.
OTHER INTERIOR AREAS
Situated at Aqua’s core, the spectacular circular staircase is one of the yacht’s defining features. It winds from the top deck, down to the lower deck. It floats naturally in place around a cylindrical void.
The spectacular owner’s pavilion occupies the front half of the upper deck. It is the ultimate private apartment – arranged in a vast open-plan area of interlinked spaces. It is divided by finely-crafted wooden screens providing intimacy and subdued lighting. Floor-to-ceiling windows supply an incredible impression of openness and freedom.
Aqua’s large master bathroom is accessed directly from the bedroom section in the owner’s pavilion. The use of premium surface finishes, such as the pitchblack, and highly reflective precious marble floor, accentuates the timelessness of the interior.
With amazing views over the ocean, the scenery can be enjoyed from both the showers and the free-standing bathtub.
Located on Aqua’s beach deck, close to the waterline, the spacious VIP state rooms have perfect ocean views. Features include textured silk carpets, fully customised furniture pieces in sustainable woods and the use of multiple textures in wall and ceiling panelling.
Aqua’s beach deck lounge is a constellation of interlocking spaces. Its inner section has a secluded fine dining setting, for 14 guests. Towards the aft deck, there’s a custom-designed circular couch. It is ideal for hosting informal chats while enjoying the seascape view through the floor-to-ceiling glass façades.
The circular setting can also be rotated to transform it into a home cinema.
To the aft deck, where the infinity pool cascades to sea level, there are sets of lounge chairs with the best views of the ocean. Gel-fuelled fire bowls allow guests to stay warm without having to burn wood or coals.
The inside and outside of this vast space can be connected by opening the curved, sliding, floor-to-ceiling glass doors. It has been designed for intimate alfresco dining or extensive sunbathing in absolute privacy.
Aqua’s wheelhouse is located under the bubble hood-shaped roof on the bridge deck. It is designed as a cockpit with a 360° view all around. It creates both a great working environment. And, a spectacular space in which the owner and guests can enjoy the operation of the yacht.
Want to buy this beast? The vessel is not expected to be ready to take to the open seas until 2024. So you may have to wait. It looks like it will be worth all the suspense, though!
Driverless yachts are finally here! Drink-boating is just around the corner! (Just kidding that’s terrible advice).
There is now a yacht that pilots itself. A robotics start-up founded by three engineering students is making headlines. They have been developing technology to create boats similar to Google’s driverless cars. And we can’t wait!
For quite some time, scientists have been working on driverless solutions for maritime shipping, search-and-rescue operations and security work. But driverless tech has been absent from recreational boating until now. Since forming a few years ago, the Buffalo Automation Group has successfully tested its technology on a 16-foot catamaran.
Dance instead of drive!
Driverless Yachts – Patents Pending
The company has filed two provisional patent applications and secured thousands of dollars in funding. “The success we’ve had illustrates there is a market for safe, highly-effective and easy-to-use marine autopilot systems. They can provide recreational boat owners with well-deserved peace of mind,” says Thiru Vikram, the company’s CEO. Fellow co-founders Shane Nolan, and Alex Zhitelzeyf agree.
Each year, recreational boating accidents cause hundreds of fatalities and thousands of injuries. Buffalo Automation Group wants to reduce those numbers through use of its technology. The company is targeting small yachts and inboard boats up to 40 feet long. Driverless yachts could save lives.
The yacht will drive itself while you hide from weird pirates
Nolan says, “These are vessels that are big enough for a family to spend anywhere from a few days to a few weeks on the water. But they’re often too small to hire a crew, or even a junior captain, so the captain must keep constant vigil over the boat.”
Like aeroplanes, many of these boats have an autopilot option. The problem, Zhitelzeyf says, is that these systems are reactive. They only respond after the boat senses a change in tide, wind or other conditions. The technology that Buffalo Automation Group is developing uses a combination of sensors, cameras and wireless communication systems. It is predictive, meaning it fuses real-time data, such as weather conditions and obstacles in the water (boats, swimmers, logs, etc.), with nautical charts and other static information. This preempts any threats to the boat and its course of direction.
Just think of all the stupid things you can do if you don’t have to drive your boat
Designed for new and used vessels, the system would dock the boat and allow the captain, at any time, to easily regain control over the boat. It also has the potential to reduce insurance costs. Zhitelzeyf says, “You will connect your smartphone or laptop to the system. From there, you use your device to tell the system where you’d like to go. It then guides the boat, from port to port, using the safest, most efficient route possible.”
The co-founders plan to continue to refine the technology while meeting with potential investors, boat manufacturers and retailers that sell marine electronics.
We here at GCLife are all about the robot yachts. Who wants to pilot a boat when you could be jumping off the back and catching a live marlin with your bare hands? And yes, we can do that, stop doubting us. ■